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The White Feathered Octopus, Jonas Friddle and the Majority, and Gilt's basement

click to enlarge white-feathered-octopus_image.jpg

Robin Dluzen, editor in chief of Chicago Art Magazine is having nightmares about:

The White Feathered Octopus The cornerstone of Jason Robert Bell's "One Man Army Corpse" exhibition at Thomas Robertello Gallery is The White Feathered Octopus, a 300-page book written by the artist during a three-month, pharmaceutically laden, bedridden recovery from a medical injury, available for viewers to peruse on a shelf in the gallery.

Not since my adolescent discovery of William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch have I felt the same heavy, sinking feeling in my stomach from a work of art, visual, written, or otherwise. The artist is the author, protagonist, and narrator of this digitally composed, fragmented, stream-of-consciousness piece, fluctuating between seemingly autobiographical reality and fantastical nightmares.

Like Naked Lunch, The White Feathered Octopus is difficult to read in both structure and the nature of its content, and it is capable of giving a reader actual nightmares (as it did for me). But also like Burroughs's masterpiece, it absolutely must be read for its courageous and frightening sincerity.

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